Halestorm // Black Veil Brides // Mothica // Live Review // The OVO Arena // Wembley // London

Halestorm // Black Veil Brides // Mothica // Live Review // The OVO Arena // Wembley // London


The concert kicks off in an electrifying burst of energy with the sensational McKenzie Ellis, better known as the enchanting Mothica, belting out her soul-stirring anthem ‘Casualty’. Hailing from the heart of Oklahoma City, this musical prodigy started her journey at the tender age of 18, weaving sonic magic that resonates with passion.

A heartfelt introduction from Mothica signals not just the commencement but the crescendo of what she declares to be her grandest and final performance ever. The anticipation hangs in the air as she effortlessly transitions into a mesmerizing rendition of Bring Me The Horizon’s “Can You Feel My Heart?” — a rendition that not only captivates but breathes new life into one of my cherished favorites. It’s an awe-inspiring spectacle.

Amidst expressions of gratitude for achieving milestones, Mothica delicately steps into an emotional realm, gracing the audience with “Buzzkill,” a poignant ballad that articulates the profound impact of negative forces. It’s a musical sanctuary, a beacon of hope and resilience in the face of life’s adversities.

The emotional journey continues with the soul-baring “Forever Fifteen,” a melodic exploration of Mothica’s battle with depression during a formative age. Each note strikes a chord, forging a deep connection between the artist and the audience.

And then, like a burst of sunlight breaking through the clouds, joy permeates the atmosphere with Mothica’s rendition of “All Star” from Shrek, accompanied by a cascade of balloons showering the audience. It’s a jubilant celebration, a testament to the artist’s desire to spread happiness.

What strikes me most about Mothica is her unabashed comfort on the stage, effortlessly weaving a connection with the audience. Witnessing this performance has ignited a fervour within me to wholeheartedly support and delve deeper into the musical realm of this remarkable artist. She deserves not just admiration but unwavering applause for the magic she has woven tonight.





After a brief interlude that felt like an eternity, we found ourselves face-to-face with the formidable force that is The Black Veil Brides, taking the stage by storm. The anticipation, stretched to its limits, was instantly shattered by a breathtaking entrance, as pyrotechnics ignited the arena in a blaze of glory.

The sonic journey commenced with the thunderous notes of “Crimson Skies,” and at that moment, it became abundantly clear that Andy possesses an innate understanding of the stage. His every move is a masterclass in stage presence, a visceral connection to the raw energy of live performance.

Having been a devoted follower of this band since 2014, witnessing them live for the first time was nothing short of a revelation. Andy’s vocals, honed and refined over the years, unleashed a perfect scream that mirrored the intensity of any studio recording. The drummer’s insanity and undeniable talent, coupled with the extraordinary guitarists, painted a sonic tapestry. Yet, even as they showcased their brilliance, there was a hint of repetition in the synchronized movements of the guitarists, standing back-to-back in a rhythmic dance through bridges.

In contrast to the initial act, The Black Veil Brides maintained minimal interaction with the audience, choosing instead to announce each song with a sense of solemnity and periodically expressing gratitude for our presence. Amidst the seamless blend of new and old tracks, the grand finale arrived with “In the End.” It was nothing short of a sonic spectacle, marked by blazing pyrotechnics, spine-tingling screams, and an unrelenting musical force that held us captive from the very first note to the triumphant conclusion.

In that fleeting moment from beginning to end, The Black Veil Brides delivered an unforgettable experience — a fiery testament to their artistry, a symphony of power and passion that resonated with every beat and resonated within the very soul of the audience.

Black Veil Brides 




Finally, the crescendo of the evening, the heartbeat of passion and musical prowess – Halestorm graced the stage, igniting a sonic firestorm with the explosive opener, “I Miss the Misery,” seamlessly transitioning into the acapella anthem “Raise Your Horns.”

Fronted by the formidable Lzzy Hale, her voice, a force to be reckoned with, struck fear and amazement in equal measure. Amidst expressions of gratitude for the ardent audience, she delved into the profound realm of womanhood, a subject often underestimated by the newer generations. The pulsating energy of “I Get Off” transformed the arena into a sea of empowered women, rising from their seats or perching atop friends’ shoulders, singing in unison. Concluding in a soul-stirring solo accompanied by a piano, Hale unleashed a torrent of energy that sent shivers through the crowd.

As the night unfolded with the enthralling “Freak Like Me” and the anthemic “Amen,” the stage transformed into a duet, a dynamic interplay between Lzzy Hale and her guitarist boyfriend, Joe Hottinger. The intimate strains of “Terrible Things” captivated the audience, eliciting excitement and emotion.

However, the zenith of the night belonged to Arejay Hale, the drummer extraordinaire with vibrant green hair. His drum solo was an absolute spectacle, a whirlwind of percussive ecstasy that culminated in a jaw-dropping display with colossal drumsticks, leaving the audience stunned in silence.

A personal favourite emerged in the form of “Bombshell” – an electrifying fusion of energy, dazzling lights, Hale’s powerhouse vocals, and the whimsical presence of bubbles that enveloped the atmosphere in a potent aura.

 Hale’s stage presence was nothing short of phenomenal; it was her domain, a revelation of strength and an unexpected powerhouse of vocal prowess. The connection she forged with the audience was profound as if conversing with close friends. Many in the arena were there for the second or third time, a testament to the band’s enduring appeal.

Halestorm, a band rooted in the time since Lzzy was thirteen, stood unwavering, unchanged by the passage of years, cherishing every milestone. This night, my first Halestorm concert, was nothing short of amazing – a testament to their enduring brilliance.

The grand finale, “The Steeple,” resonated with gratitude, Halestorm thanking their fervent fans. This band, with its indomitable spirit and inspirational music, stands as a beacon for all to follow, especially aspiring girls who look up to the powerhouse that is Lzzy Hale.

Without a doubt, the night was an investment of pure emotion and energy, a declaration that witnessing another Halestorm performance is not just a desire but an absolute necessity.



Review: Carol Giannattasio

Photography: Tony Giannattasio